MYTHICAL FASHION

  Traditional Indian Fashion

Traditional Indian Fashion

The Mythical world view, or Traditional as it is sometimes called, came about as the tribal world view was outgrown. Tribes banded together to form nations and the Nation needed a dress code. As the shift from Magical to Tribal brought us different organisational structures to support larger groups, the shift from tribe to nation state brought about huge change. No longer was a person only associated with there immediate or extended family, but to a country bound by land and most importantly language.

Like tribalism, nationalism needs an identifying form of dress suited to climate, function and perhaps most important, to signify  position in society. In the Mythical world view order is very highly valued. With God at the top and a rigid structure below there is no room for individuality.

Julius Caesar crafted the myth of his leadership in part by using the colour purple. The colour itself was once reserved for the wealthy elites in republican Rome but by the time of Caesar and Imperial Rome it was reserved only for the emperor. Wearing even shades of purple made from cheaper materials would result in punishment. Tyrian purple is itself a mythical colour, discovered as it was by the dog of Hercules who, feasting on the snail which produces the dye, returned to Hercules with a purple stained mouth. Mythical fashion is used to reinforce the structures of a society. When everyone knows there place things run smoother.

Many 100’s of years later further north in Germany the fashions may have changed but the symbolism of clothing did not. Tying a knot in the belt of a Dirndl, the traditional dress of a German woman, signified her being married, hence ‘Tying the knot’. Another indicator of status in dress.

  The Dirndl and Lederhosen of Germany and Austria

The Dirndl and Lederhosen of Germany and Austria

Today the idea of National Dress is somewhat quaint and its mostly reserved for special events and period dramas but 500 years ago if you lived in a certain country you took on the dress and ways of the country. No diversity and no choice.